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How to plant and grow asparagus

Overview

The taste of fresh asparagusin May is worth waiting for. A perennial crop, established asparagus plants will provide an annual crop of tasty spears for up to 20 years.

Choose the spot you will grow your asparagus carefully. Asparagus needs lots of space to grow and thrives in sheltered, sunny sites with well-drained soil. Avoid growing asparagus in shady spots, heavy clay soil or containers.


How to do it

Preparing soil for planting

1

Prepare the soil by thoroughly digging it over, removing weeds and mixing in organic matter such as well-rotted manure. A week before planting, scatter general fertiliser granules over the area and fork in, then rake the ground level.


Asparagus crowns sitting on a mound of soil

2

Dig a trench, 30cm wide by 20cm deep, and part fill with soil down its length to make a mound 10cm high. Take the asparagus crowns and sit them 30cm apart on top of the mound, spreading the roots on either side. Cover the crowns with 5cm of soil. As the plants grow, cover them with more soil, aiming to eventually fill the trench.


Asparagus spears

3

Keep newly planted crowns well watered until established and ensure the area is kept weed free to prevent competition for light and nutrients. Avoid harvesting asparagus spears for two years after planting, as this will weaken the plants and lead to smaller harvests in the long term. Instead, let the crowns develop ferny foliage, enabling them to photosynthesise and grow into healthy, strong plants.


Harvesting asparagus spears

4

Asparagus is ready to harvest two years after planting one-year-old crowns. Harvest spears when they reach 12cm in length, cutting them off the crowns beneath the soil with a serrated knife. Stop harvesting in mid-June to allow the plant to build up energy for the following year.




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Talkback: How to plant and grow asparagus
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Ian 2 08/09/2012 at 13:29

can i move asparagus i am moving ?

Italophile 10/09/2012 at 17:54

Yes, you can transplant asparagus. It can be tricky, particularly with anything like mature plants, because of the complexity of the root structure that will have developed. It's a bit like trying to unravel knots. Best done early in Spring, while they're still dormant. It took me a couple of goes to wangle out the roots without murdering too many of them.

Ian 2 24/12/2012 at 18:15

hi italophile sorry for long time reply ,

been up in the air with move regards Ian

Steven Edwards 04/01/2013 at 10:16

During the first two years of asparagus growth do you cut off the growth during that time or do you leave it to rot?

Thanks

Rizzo68 25/07/2013 at 20:44

I'm in first year of planting asparagus bed, do I cut down the ferny stems at any time? If so when? Or do I just leave them for two years ?

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